Saturday, November 24, 2007

Happy Birthday Avery!

My neice Avery is turning one year old today. It hardly seems she is that old already, partly because, as always, time flies by way too fast, partly because she was gone 5 months of the last year, and partly because she is still sooooo tiny! She was wearing 6 mo. clothes up until just the last few month or so! She's just taken her first steps in the last month, still hasn't said a word (da da da da when John isn't even in the room doesn't count) and doesn't have nearly the amount of teeth that Brooklynn had at this age. She's defying all the second child stereotypes of learning fast (due to the typical 'trying to keep up with older sibling' syndrome). She's still been our tiny baby and I seem to remember a lot more independence from Brooklynn at this age than I see in Avery. Although she's getting there, especially now that she's taking steps, last I heard she was up to 11 at a time.

But today is not only a celebration of her turning one, it's also a celebration that we get to be with her at all on this special day (and with the whole Reddekopp family) because 9 months ago we thought we may not even see her or Brooklynn on their birthdays due to living in Saskatchewan. Even at the end of their visit in August, before they had decided to move back, they didn't think they'd be back before Christmas. But thankfully they are back, and all those things I lamented I would miss, I haven't. I haven't missed many of her firsts, she started crawling on a visit here in May, she took her first steps holding on to something with me in the nursery in July, and since she's been back has started standing and walking on her own. But most importantly, I didn't want her to lose the recognition that comes across her face, that lights up her eyes and spreads a big smile on her face when she sees me. I didn't want to have to be a stranger, for no matter how brief a time, to my precious neice. I had that feeling for about 5 minutes with Brooklynn during their first return in May and my heart plummeted. It was one of the worst feelings I've ever had. But no worries, it seems like danger of that ever happening again is minimal (yay!).

So today I celebrate my angel's first year in our lives and a future filled with many more moments to celebrate with her.

I'm heading off to the birthday bash now, I'll have a birthday picture posted soon.

This is the birthday girl enjoying her birthday cupcake. She looks kinda like "I'm not supposed to be doing this, am I? Mommy never lets me get my hands in my food!" She thoroughly enjoyed her just desserts : ) I'll be posting more birthday pics on Facebook.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Mississippi Girl vs. the Canadian Man

I must admit, for not being much of a country music fan until I met my cowboy, it has quickly become my favorite genre now. I still love my eighties, disco, worship, classic rock, dance music, and top 40 music, but nothing beats the way country just moves me, inside and out. It is the rare song from another genre that can do that to me the way country music does. I've always been a huge music lover, mostly loving songs I could sing a long to and for the most part the message of the lyrics wasn't my main reason for liking the music. When I was interested in the lyrics it was so I could project my own feelings into the song and made them about what I wanted them to be about. Country music has been different, and I think it's because of the artists, not necessarily the music. Some of the songs I love the most could have just as easily been playing on 94 fm or 103 fm.
One of the artists who was a stepping stone into liking country was Faith Hill. She had a very pop-sounding album around that time and so she weened me onto artists like the Dixie Chicks, Keith Urban, and Leann Rimes, and from there I allowed myself to try the more twangy (to me anyway) Colin Raye, George Strait, Lonestar, Martina McBride, Sara Evans, Tim McGraw and Paul Brandt.
I have stayed a fan of Faith Hill and grown to love her husband's music as well. I watched their Oprah interview and just paid attention to them in general, not entirely sure why I started, maybe because they are the American dream, beautiful, talented, in love, rich, with 3 beautiful children. What don't they have? And the fact that they seem so down to earth despite it all. Not to mention their music, each individually, and their steamy duets. I was so ecstatic to be able to attend their concert this past June, a possibly once in a life time opportunity. They put on a really great show, it was everything I expected and more. The highlights being their amazing stage that allowed us to feel as if we were 10 rows away instead of 20, their cover songs like Chasing Cars (Snow Patrol cover), Abba, and The Joker, and making Faith cry with a standing O. She also surprised me by singing Amazing Grace after that. She hasn't been shy about her gospel roots however the only time I've heard her sing something belief based was on Oprah when Oprah mentioned Faith sang gospel music to warm up during rehearsal.
Yet, as amazing as that concert was, it couldn't beat Paul Brandt. And no, not just because he's Canadian and wore a Bomber jersey on stage last Monday. It's because of many, many things. First, he's there as much for his fans' as he is for his own enjoyment, he chooses small venues (he could have gone bigger than the Pantages because his show sold out in minutes, just as fast as Faith & Tim's) for a couple reasons I suspect, such as; smaller audience for a more personable interaction and cheaper tickets so his fans can afford it (something he also furthers by having a very limited exhibition, just a few lights, nothing fancy). He interacts a lot with the audience, waving to us a lot, responding to the "I love you Paul's" with an "I love you too!". He's sometimes part-standup comedian and sometimes just baring his soul. You begin to feel like you know him during his shows. We've been way more entertained at each of his shows than we were at Tim & Faith.
Second, we always fall in love with his opening act. He has a tremendous nack for choosing who he tours with. First time we went it was Doc Walker. This was before they were really big, and even though we somewhat liked what we heard from them before the concert, we absolutely loved their music after we heard music they didn't release to the radio. Second time we saw Paul he was with Derric Ruttan, who has surprised us by not hitting it big because we thought he was amazing. He has a real talent for telling a story with his lyrics, his writing style is very distinguishable and we love his sound as well. We've become big fans of his. And this last concert was no exception, he brought out Jason Blaine who we haven't been drawn to through his radio releases, but once again, fell hard for him when we heard his unreleased repetoire. This guy sings songs very similar to Derric Ruttan's style, has a voice very similar to Paul's (and personality too, he was very funny) and he's as cute as Dierks Bentely. This guy is going to be a hit.
Third, Paul has never shied away from letting his faith permeate his songs. Sean and I had suspected for awhile that Paul was a Christian but you can never assume based on songs, or even what you hear from the media. Then when we bought Paul's album "This Time Around" and his song "That's What I Love About Jesus", we knew for sure. After that we read on his web page that he and his wife attend a Church in Calgary where they once again reside and we were happy to see how much he was revealing to the public about his faith. Not that his actions haven't spoken much louder than words already. He moved back to Calgary after 9 years in Nashville so that he could put family first, even though he thought it might mean early retirement (people losing interest), but his popularity actually grew! And then there is his involvement in World Vision and Samaritan's Purse, and not just the normal celebrity routine but sacrificing a lot of his own income to furthering their cause. He is even selecting one person who donates $100 to his latest Samaritan's Purse campaign who will join him for a trip to Africa to see their dollars at work first hand. Now what celebrity does that?
And being Canadian doesn't hurt. I may be a little bias, but I kinda like to think that it's partially because he's Canadian that he is such an outstanding human being. I don't want to turn this to a Maple Leaf vs. Stars & Stripes thing, but I do think there is a certain humbleness and compassion that we have that seems more absent from the pursuit of the American dream. There are exceptions, I know some wonderful Americans, but this my general perspective. So, no contest, Paul wins hands down. I will probably never spend money to see Faith Hill & Tim McGraw again, been there, done that, but we will go see Paul Brandt every chance we get.

Friday, November 16, 2007

More Revelations

It’s strange how life puts circumstances in your path and what seems like such an insignificant occurrence becomes an eye opening experience. At work I was presented with a letter I needed to type in order to notify an organization we would be making a financial contribution to a fundraiser. I was also handed their information package to peruse. It turns out this is for a woman’s resource center, and it would seem they are geared to helping women (and their children) who are being or have been abused. As I started flipping through their pamphlets I was literally struck by what I read. Realizations I had never made before just kinda floored me for a few moments as it sunk in.

One pamphlet was about stalking and criminal harassment and it listed a few examples of behaviours which now seems so obvious, but at the time I chalked it up to my ex not being able to let go. For reasons I’ve already mentioned, my judgement was cloudy, and so I didn’t see that he what he was doing constituted stalking me. Up until now I didn’t see that. The day I got married it all stopped, because then I had my husband Sean living with me, but from the time Sean and I dated until our wedding he would often show up at my door unexpectedly, or call and say he had just been hanging around outside my apartment door but never knocked. He did the vandalizing thing. He made threats, not to physically harm but harm my reputation, my relationships, my career. I would get calls in the middle of the night, from a blocked number, just breathing on the other end. My number was not listed, very few people had it, I knew it was him. And I would just hang up and go back to bed, never confronting him on it, pretending it wasn’t happening. I actually hid it from Sean, or so I thought, because I didn’t want a confrontation, however just the other day we got a call in the middle of the night and Sean immediately suspected it was him. As I grow more aware of my past, I also grow more aware of how much this must have affected Sean, and how stoically and silently he has dealt with that. He’s shown so much restraint that I am only now aware of. He never stops trying to protect me, even if it’s sparing me from adding his burdens to the ones I already have.

The other thing that blind-sided me while reading this literature was a fact sheet on Traumatic Stress Disorder. To me, this is something people who have experienced horrific events suffer from. Not me. But as I read the information about how it’s an anxiety disorder, one triggered by living through frightening or stressful experiences, it dawned on me. As I slowly began to get over our break up, it seemed I should have been getting healthier, but for about 6 months in 2000 I considered going to a doctor because I just couldn’t handle my anxiety anymore. I had a lot of nightmares about my ex. I stressed out and got angered by very miniscule issues. I had quite a bit of tension that manifested only when I slept. I remember Googling anxiety/stress disorders and realizing the kind of distress I was experiencing was lasting a lot longer than it should. I was having minor panic attacks, I constantly worried about every nuance of my life, always expecting the worst outcome. The strange thing is, I just seemed to get over it. I don’t know if it’s coincidence or not, but right around that time is when I started having feelings for Sean. The anxiety just seemed to disappear and I don’t remember giving it a second thought until today.

I still don’t feel like that woman who needed the services of this woman’s resource center, even though I obviously did. I sometimes wonder why the obvious wasn’t so obvious to me. It certainly would have been nice to see the obvious when I first dated him, but maybe the same oblivion that got me into that mess also spared me from a victim mentality. Looking back it would seem my naivety of my situation allowed me to move on without a lot of anger, guilt, and pain holding me back. It’s a miracle that I came through what I did as healthy as I am, especially with no counselling. Sure, those emotions have surfaced since my ‘wake up call’ but I am in a much better place to deal with them now. God was definitely looking out for me and working all things for the good.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Where have all the fans gone?

Sporting events have always been a family affair in my life. My dad took me to my first Edmonton Oilers game when I was just a few months old. My dad also wasted no time with his first grand daughter, who was also less than a year when she went to her first sporting event. My parents frequent the Manitoba Moose, The Winnipeg Gold Eyes, campaigned to save the Winnipeg Jets, and of course, are BIG Blue Bomber fans. My dad just recently bought my neice a Milt Stegall jersey, and she's only 2. My sisters and our husbands also patronize our local sports, but are all especially fans of the Bombers. My first brother-in-law, hubby's brother, is also a huge football, and Winnipeg Blue Bomber, fanatic. It's a great way to spend time as a family and share our mutual love of the game and our hometown team. I expect we are not the only family who is like this, and I suspect most people got their love of sports because it was a family interest. For our family, it's the way it has always been, and Bomber games were a nice family tradition.........until the last few years.
It started with a time a few years ago when my parents, just a couple sections over from my husband, BIL #1 and I, were sitting in front of some very rowdy individuals. My parents noticed they were bringing in their own alcohol and getting rip roaring drunk. They began to spill beer with every move they made and were spilling it on my parents. My parents, for the sake of the love of the game, put up with the, too often found, lewdness of their fellow fans but my dad drew the line at spilling beer all over my mom. He nicely ask that they refrain from doing so and all he got was a string of expletives and derogatory comments about his wife, as well as an invitation to take it outside. Of course my dad declined and just asked for a little respect, so that they weren't receiving a beer bath. They just got more incensed and for the rest of the game intentionally razzed my parents. We were too far over to notice and do anything to help either. As I remember it, dad did report it to security but I can't remember if they just took the alcohol away or if they just ignored dad's concern altogether, but what they should have done was kicked these guys out, not only for bringing in contraban, but because they were disturbing the people who were there just trying to enjoy the game, not to enjoy alcohol. That's right, they didn't even kick them out.
Unfortunately, it doesn't matter if you bring your own alcohol in or not, because you can get just as drunk by buying their booze, they seem to have no limits on how much they will sell to one person (unlike bars and other liquor-serving establishment who by law are required to stop selling to someone who appears intoxicated). And with the incidents piling up of drunk misconduct it's amazing that they just beef up security and not correlate that their lack of regulations on liquor might have something to do with drunk idiots. I mean, there was the drunk who ran out on the field a couple years ago and the Bomber players were more effective than security. Just a few months ago a man was trying to be helpful by cleaning up empty cups lying around, touched the wrong drunk's cup and was beat by this drunk and some drunk cohort within an inch of his life. Where was the beefed up security then? It's obviously not doing anything.
I don't understand why they think they have to cater to these intoxicated maniacs in order to keep butts in the seats. They should have full stands everytime by those assumptions, but they can't even fill the stands to a play off game. Do you know why? Because sports are a family affair. We want to bring our children, our grand children, our neices, nephews, our Little Brother or Sister, and instill in them a love for the game. We want to share our love of football with those we love. But would you bring your children to that type of environment? My husband won't even bring me to that type of environment, says he's too worried about my safety there. And so the love of the game is not being passed on to the next generation, or at least not in the same numbers. And they are losing real fans, and the next generations of fans, by trying to buy full seats with unlimited liquor. To those who say that is why the family fun zone is there, they have obviously not witnessed that it is not immune to 'un-family friendly' lewdness, and even if it was, it's such a small section compared to the percent of people coming who would want to be in a 'family fun zone' type atmosphere. The family is obviously not recognized as the reason for a continuing loyal fan base.
And so where have all the fans gone? Watching the game from the safety of their home, someone else's home, or a bar (yes, there are some who consider some bars more safe than the stadium). Watching on t.v. is just not the same, it loses some of the excitement, the passion, the exhileration. There is nothing that brings a city closer together than the bonding you can have with strangers just because you've shared hometown victory. But you can't really get that on your couch or even at a bar. But at least we won't end up in the hospital. Even though it makes Bomber fans look kinda like fairweather fans. Heck, we've had offers from our Saskatoon branch (former Winnipegers) to come and help fill our stands! It's sad when a city 1/3 our size can draw in spectators from 3 hours away, who will drive that distance and back every home game, and almost always have every seat full. It's even more sad that we have to choose to keep my neices safe as opposed to being able to share that kind of hometown loyalty with them.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Pressure Points & 101 To Do List

I have found my perfect motivator. Peer pressure. Now it’s nothing that will inspire a scolding “If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?” It’s more like, I have friends making a difference in their community, political change, the environment, or cousins who have tremendously busy lives yet find ways to cook fabulous meals, or even just my co-workers who are athletic and motivated to stay fit. It all inspires me.
At work we are actually having a contest with another branch to see who can travel the most kilometers through exercise, the first team to Miami, Florida (figuratively speaking) wins. Now, everyone is gung ho about it, and so am I because this is just the kind of pressure and group accountability that pushes me to follow through with my own good intentions. Not only that, but even before this contest began our office has been trying to find a way for ourselves to be more active and we’re thinking of bringing in a yoga instructor once a week to lead who ever wants to join. That’s perfect for me because I hate doing things alone, and having to travel to a place on my own time to exercise is a DE-motivator for me. I am really hoping this sets the flame under my butt I think it will.
And on this subject, I think I am doing pretty well in my 101 Things To Do in 1001 days. This was another peer pressure motivated challenge for me. My cousin Pam had this on her blog and so I joined her in late July. It was another one of those things I knew I needed to do because I would have accountability to Pam and anyone else reading my blog after I posted it, motivating me to actually work towards crossing every last thing off. It was actually hard to come up with that many things I wanted to accomplish but now it has inspired me so much I have actually added to it : ) I think I have it up to 110 things I want to do in 1001 days now.

Here is my updated list of accomplishments:
Out of 101 to dos - 55 Completed ~ 19 In Progress ~ 13 daily/weekly/etc. items implemented~9 Added ~ 8 No Can Dos15 LEFT TO DO! With 345 days to go! (as of last update - 05/09/09)

House & Home1. Finish curtains for living room on MIL's sewing machine - just bought new ones so they can stay with the house when we sell
2. Buy new curtains for dining room - bought new ones
3. Find a better shoe shelf, to keep shoes off the floor – built in shoe rack at new house
4. Replace old light fixtures with same as ones already replaced - done by BIL!
5. Buy new couch and love seat, something smaller and cat hair resistant – bought new love seat, recliner and couch, chocolate brown microsuede
6. Buy a new coffee table with drawers and cubby holes to hide junk in – found a storage ottoman, can be a seat, foot stool, or the lid flips into a tray, and there is storage inside
7. Have or share a garage sale - block garage sale May 10th
8. Continue working on growing grass in back yard - grass has fully grown in

9. Re-do sidewalk to garage - something we might possibly do for new yard10. Add step for garage entrance - won't be completing after all because of moving
11. Replace bedroom doors with doors with vents - not doing this because of moving
12. Back up and reformat computer - done
13. Have Dutch Elm Diseased trees removed - all removed, unfortunately the half dead oak is not going to be done by the city for free and we don't have the money to remove the eye soar, but at least les DED trees means less worms.

14. Childproof the house for babysitting: managed two occasions of babysitting with no incidents, new house and furniture much more kid friendly15. - door blocking mudroom (with cat door) - will block too much of hallway for moving furniture out of upstairs, so not doing after all16. - reorganize shelves close to the ground - done
17. Rebuild mudroom, with drywall and linoleum, and depending on money, a more energy efficient furnace and water tank (if we don't move first : ) - settling for replacing flooring because we're going to sell and move, BIL laid down plywood and we laid peel and stick tiles....looks good!
18. Match siding on house to garage (if we don't move first) - done, been painted to match garage
19. Make a timeline for moving into a bigger house, if not actually move - house sold as of June 25th and new house bought as of June 26th, moved in as of August 16th
20. Replace locks for the house/fix the front & back screen doors - didn’t end up needing to replace them, just fix them
21. Replace broken drawers/cupboards in counter - BIL finished fixing

22. Make one BBQ usable - decided we'll buy a new one or a BBQ pit with house sale proceeds
23. Clean off the deck and patio set, and protect from fall/winter weather - cleaned and placed in shed.

24. Scan negatives, as well as family members negatives – finally bought scanner to start this but waiting for some free time!
25. Go through clothes and make a pile to give to charity - done
26. Finish going through still packed items for 'keep' and 'garage sale' piles - done
27. Organize craft supplies so I can find what I am looking for – have organizational furniture, getting even more now that my new craft room will just be a craft room.
28. De-clutter shelves in living room, less décor, better storage - done
29. Burn back up DVDs of computer in more organized fashion – bought a second hard drive to use for backing up our computers

Academics/Work30. Finish on the job training - done31. Take at least one Golder U course per year - 2- 07/08, 2 - 08/09
32. Re-organize office library - done
33. Organize server room - done
34. Create a birthday list and start birthday celebrations - done
35. Create a better manual for my job responsibilities – finished for new admin hire
36. Aim to use less than 5 days of sick time per year - 07/08 =6.5/5 days, 08/09 = 4/5, 09/10 = 0/5

37. Renew passports - renewed in April for Sean's trip to Vegas and our trip to Nashville
38. Driving vacation through Saskatchawan & Alberta, Edmonton, Calgary,and Rockies – hopefully next year39. Attend a Big & Rich concert – on January 21st, 2008
40. Attend as many Paul Brandt concerts as we can – on November 19th, 2007
41. A long weekend with Sean in a major US city - went to Nashville for more than long weekend, June 5-11th42. A long weekend with Sean at a cabin -hopefully next year43. Go to a State or Province we've both never been before – going to Nashville
44. Go horseback riding with Sean - maybe in Alberta if we go next year45. Girls only road trip/shopping trip
46. Collect DVDs of favorite movies and t.v. shows – now have PVR so that we can record shows and watch them at our leisure instead of our favourite shows becoming a leash, so that was my ultimate goal, I'm technically done
47. Eat at Confusion Corner Grill, on the building top patio
48. Eat at Café Inferno – ate there for my birthday, done!
49. Eat at the Tavern, on the building top patio
50. Have a BBQ in our back yard with at least 2 other people over - waiting till we have new BBQ

51. Plan an amazing 5 year anniversary date! (since the odd years are my turn) – had a wonderful 24 hours at the Inn at the Forks, in the Riverstone room, fireplace, waterfall, jacuzzi, bathroom as big as our bedroom!52. A romantic stay somewhere in the mountains with a hot spring – hopefully next year53. Once a month, not including date night, do something as a couple that will allow us to carry on a long conversation (no t.v./movies/video game), such as; boardgames, walks, car rides, bike rides, etc. – once a month dedicating one weekend to spend time just the two of us54. Continue dedicating each July to the Honoring Husband Challenge – did my third July of this challenge and it still is continuing to teach me more about being a great wife. 3/3 July's done.55. Go out for a one-on-one coffee/dinner with at least 6 family members each year – 11/1656. Organize a day of scrapbooking for the females in the Braun family
57. Have a WOG friends get together - have hung out with 2 old WOG friends seperately, hopefully can with at least one more couple before this is over
58. Have an ECC friends get together
59. Go out for a coffee/dinner with at least one friend each month – 17/3260. Babysit my neices or nephew - babysat Landon once overnight and Brooklynn and Landon together overnight
61. Organize a 'paper crafting' club that will meet every other month
62. Become a mom (even though this one is a little out of my control) - my cycle was regular for 6 months and now the last two have not been again...not sure what's up


63. Join a cell group/Bible study
64. Copy sermon notes from Church into my notebook - done
65. Make entries in a prayer journal at least once a week, including a weekly list of people to pray for – a sermon on prayer has changed my perspective on this and I am still journaling but without time constraints.
66. Post scripture around me to remind me of important verses to me – working on this
67. Make a song book (just lyrics) of my favorite worship songs – working on this
68. Read the whole Bible – 14/66 books, had a lapse in this but back on track

69. Find and implement ways to reduce allergies (and therefore snoring) – have noticed an improvement, don't have anything to attribute it to70. Follow 1200 calories per day meal plan (snacks incl) until I lose 30 lbs - re-adjusted to range of 1100-1700 calories, but trying not to exceed 1450 calories per day. Have lost 27 lbs
71. 30-60 minutes of walking & orbitrek each 3 times a week until I lose 40 lbs - working out 180 min.+ per week
72. 30-60 minute bike ride once a week until I lose 30 lbs - part of above plan
73. After reaching goal weight, maintain weight with 5 hrs weekly exercise and healthy meals - reducing that to 1.5 weekly
74. Drink 8 cups of water a day – been doing really well at this lately, I’ve been averaging 2 litres a day
75. No more than 250 ml of a sugary drink per week (pop, Starbucks, slurpees) – need to get back on track here
76. Start taking vitamins again – daily multi-vitamin, plus Omega 3-6-9 and vitamin C too
77. Get into the WPG Sleep Clinic – 2-5 year waiting list so will be talked to the specialist (#69) instead.78. Start regular massage therapy – bookings are a regular

Purchases to make79. My second tattoo – had my consult, can't do my design as small as I wanted it, going to go back to an original design which will be actually 3 smaller tattoos80. New cell phones and new cell phone plan - Sean gets a free phone through work now so I switched to a new provider (keeping my same number) and cheaper plan, and got a new Razr phone, yay!81. Manicure & pedicure - got both82. Get fitted properly for a bra and then purchase some in correct size (not sure if before and/or after #73) - I know my proper size now but will have to get this re-measured after weightloss.83. At least 2 new casual-dressy tops for each season - did a mini-shopping trip because all clothes way too big
84. At least 2 new casual-dressy bottoms for each season - did a mini-shopping trip because all clothes way too big
85. Buy a new two piece swimsuit - got a new suit because the other one was falling off me, couldn't go swimming like that

86. Cheap/small digital camera for events I can't bring the big camera too - finally bought it 50% off!
87. New video camera - using one on second camera, does decent videos for now88. Upgrade computer to be able to upload and edit videos - bought a laptop, haven't put on video editing software yet though
89. Stampin Spot ink pads from Stampin Up! – done thanks to my turn to host
90. At least 10 stamp sets from Stampin Up! - thanks to it being my turn to host, I now have more than 10!

Hobbies/Crafts91. Finish wedding album by our 5th year anniversary – 7/19 pages, didn't finish on time but still trucking!
92. Make a scrapbook for Brooklynn & Avery's first years - journaling my memories of them currently
93. Finish the Braun Family Wedding Album I started – working on this
94. Finish one digital design kit/month – 3.5/32 - decided to quit making these95. Make at least 100 cards for at least 10 different occasions, to have ready on hand for each year's events – created 58/10096. Take different photos to test out camera capabilities in different modes – working on this
97. Read about one book/month – read 16/32
98. Finish the poems I have started but left incomplete – done
99. Make at least two journal entries per week, on blog or on paper - 265/284
100. Finish the memories book mom asked me to make her – turned this into a blog, which is much easier and adds to my journal entries each week!
101. On day 1001 post a new 101/1001 list

102. Have the house reinsulated - cancelled due to moving
103. Buy plastic garbage bin to alleviate cat in garbage worries – we bought one for the new house
104. Try ethnic foods I haven’t tried before; Japanese, Caribbean, French – tried all three, Japanese at Shogun, French at Inferno's Bistro, and Caribbean at the Forks.
105. Make guest room into craft room also – done at old house, new house has both craft and guest room
106. Get a computer armoire to hide computer in dining room - done
107. Buy new Tupperware, especially collapsible kind to save room in kitchen cupboards - done
108. Buy kitchen organizing tools (racks, dividers, etc.) - done

109. Buy a smaller oven - changed plans, we're now spending money on home renos to make house more sellable, this one's a no can do too.
110. Buy a portable island cupboard to replace microwave cart (for more counter space) - cancelled, had BIL build a pantry instead for more storage, and microwave cart would give more counter space we wanted.
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